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Upgrade To Intermountain Healthcare Cancer Treatment Helps Extend Utah Mother’s Life

MURRAY, Utah — A Utah mother said her life is being extended all thanks to upgraded cancer-fighting technology at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

Amanda Peterson has been fighting breast cancer and tumors since 2013 and said the hospital has become her second home.

“I have to pretend every day that I don’t have cancer so I can live a normal life,” she said. “Now with it in my brain, I mean without any drama, I am literally on borrowed time.”

Treatment options to save her life were slim. It wasn’t until she received gamma knife treatment that doctors said her life was extended.

Intermountain radiation oncologist Dr. Grant Hunter said the gamma knife technology isn’t something new, but the upgrade IMC is receiving will make treatment even more efficient and less invasive.

“What is new and improved with this upgrade is that to deliver this very precise radiation, we have to put a frame on a patient’s head,” Hunter said.

The upgrade to the gamma knife technology included fitting each patient with a mask that helps direct a precise, high dose of radiation from 192 different sources right to the tumor.

“They can’t feel anything, they don’t see anything, they are not radioactive when the treatment is over,” Hunter said.

That is a plus for Peterson, who said previous treatment would keep her from living life.

“To have something that works and is not invasive, to give me more time with my kids…it’s amazing,” she said.

Peterson will return for more treatment in November. Doctors don’t know how long she has left, but they are hopeful she’ll have more time with her family because of the treatment.

“I really have to live for the now,” Peterson said. “I have to find joy in every day and be just grateful for the things that I do have.” 

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